Volunteer Work, Nature Protection, Education, Community Work
San Cristóbal Island, Galapagos Islands
Flexible start and end dates, year-round.
Recommended arrival to Quito is Thursday. Before traveling to the island, your orientation session will take place in Quito, on the Ecuadorian mainland, on Friday. Arrival on the Galapagos Islands is Sunday or Monday.
2 weeks (maximum 8 weeks)
Be more than a mere tourist who travel to the Galapagos Islands every year only to take some exciting photos! Como to Galapagos to contribute to the conservation of natural habitats in this fragile ecosystem and help protect endemic flora and fauna. By volunteering on the Galapagos Islands, you also get involved in local communities and help with environmental education.
This volunteer project in the Galapagos Islands gives you the unique opportunity to spend several weeks on these famous islands.
The Galapagos Islands are home to around 500 native plant species, over 700 species have been introduced! The island of San Cristobal is located about 960 kilometers from the mainland in the Pacific. The Humboldt, Cromwell and Panama currents cross here, which means that the Galapagos Islands are extremely diverse. In recent decades, the Galapagos Islands have seen a higher birth rate and an increasing number of tourists. This led to a much higher demand for food and other products. Endimic nature and plants had to give way to agriculture and livestock farming!
The Galapagos Islands, however, could not produce enough to meet the increasing demand. For this reason, the government had to allow imports from the mainland, which had fatal consequences. With the imports of (fresh) food and agricultural products came non-endemic species such as the blackberry (spreads very quickly) but also many plant pests on the island and threaten the native flora and fauna.
An important part of the volunteer project on the island of San Cristobal in the Galapagos is to counter the spread of these species in order to protect the local flora and fauna. The project is pursuing various approaches for this goal:
- Eradicating imported plants
- Reforestation of endemic plants
- Promoting a sustainable lifestyle
- Education of the population
- Community work (construction work, environmental education, English lessons, computer courses, etc.)
This volunteer project is your chance to get to know the Galapagos Islands in a way normal tourists are not able to see. Help to preserve this unique spot on earth and to fight the problems of mass tourism.
Volunteers on the Galapagos Islands are working to reverse the negative effects that the introduction of non-native plant species had on local flora. The previous volunteers have made a major contribution to current reforestation projects and the results can already be clearly seen. Introduced plants were carefully removed and endemic plants were first grown in the greenhouse and then transplanted outdoors.
The volunteers also support various development projects in local communities. Environmental education is very successful here.
The tasks of the volunteers are diverse and mainly have to do with the areas of reforestation, research and community work.
Possible tasks are:
- Eradication of imported plants (Mora, Guayaba and Superroza)
- Forestation with native plants
- Working in the greenhouse and gardens (sowing native plants / planting fruits and vegetables)
- Supporting the local community (painting schools, cleaning of beaches and parks, etc.)
- Assistance in teaching English, computer skills, sports, etc.
Working in this volunteer project requires physical labor. But you will quickly notice how stress-relieving and good for the soul this can be!
To prevent people from working too hard during the hot midday hours, the working days in this volunteer project start early with a hearty breakfast at 6.30 a.m. When the work ends in the afternoon, the volunteers have time to explore the island, relax in the hammocks, chill out or stroll through the harbor.
Note: The tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as number of volunteers, weather, season, current needs of the project, as well as self-motivation. Not every volunteer may be fully involved in all these tasks.
The volunteers live together in the Volunteer House in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (Peñas Altas). It is located about 5 minutes from the harbour and can accommodate up to 11 people. It has 4 shared bed rooms with shared bathrooms. Internet is available in the volunteer house.
If big groups of volunteers are on site, the volunteers live in the large volunteer house in the small farming community of Recinto la Soledad, about 11 km from Puerto Baquerizo.
Both accommodations include full board with 3 meals a day (vegetarian food is available).
San Cristobal is one of the two main islands of the archipelago of the Galapagos Islands. The island has an airport and a harbor, as well as a small town and several small villages. The capital of Galapagos, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, is located on the southwestern tip of the island. Near Puerto Baquerizo Moreno there are tourist sites such as Cerro Tijeretas, a breeding colony for frigates, and a statue of Charles Darwin, which marks the original site where he first landed on the Galapagos Islands during the second voyage of the HMS Beagle.
Also, worth seeing is La Lobería, a colony of sea lions, only about ten minutes by bus from the city. There are also locals who offer boat trips to take visitors to two nearby diving sites.
Popular photo motifs on the island are the many sea lions, cliff crabs, seashells, frigate birds, mockingbirds, rays, Bahama ducks, moorhens, Darwin's finches, brown pelicans, blue-footed boobies and last but not least the famous Galapagos giant tortoises.
In the hinterland of San Cristobal, small farms grow fruit, vegetables and even organic coffee.
The climate is constant throughout the year and averages 25 °C per day. The rainiest months are from January to May; in the remaining months there is very little rain.
In our Wildlife & Nature projects, our volunteers get along well with English language skills.
For optimal program preparation and cultural integration in the destination country, we recommend participating in a Spanish course in Ecuador (optional).
Pre-departure and in-country support
Before arrival, our experienced team will be at your disposal to assist you throughout the booking process and travel planning. With the booking confirmation you will receive our 24-hour emergency number, so that you can reach us 24/7 in case of emergency.
In addition to the assistance given by our office staff you will be supported by the program coordinator in Quito. Furthermore, a volunteer coordinator will be there for you on-site.
Costs & Services
Our volunteer project in Conservation on the Galapagos Islands includes:
- Shared room in Volunteer House
- Full board
- Permission to stay on Galapagos as a volunteer
- Professional English-speaking advice
- Translation of your application documents
- Volunteer Work Placement on the Galapagos Islands
- English-speaking in-country support
- Introduction in Quito, incl. overnight stay
- Country handbook Ecuador
- 24/7 emergency number
- Information about suitable travel health insurance
- Certificate of participation
- Entry fee to the Galapagos Islands, approx. US$ 120 (to be paid on site in cash)
Application fee: US$ 120
Placement fee: US$ 1.060 (minimum stay 2 weeks)
Extra week: US$ 315 (maximum 8 weeks)
Additionally, you can book:
Our tips (experience more + see more = save $$)
Is it difficult for you to decide between the many great projects? You want to see and experience as much as possible during your stay in Latin America? Then build your own itinerary - experience more & see more! Our program combination makes it possible!
All our stay abroad programs can be combined with each other: So, you can combine different volunteer projects in the same country or in different countries, or you mix Working Holiday with volunteer work or Farm Stay with Working Holiday ...and so on …
Your creativity knows no limits. The longer your stay abroad in Latin America, the greater the discount you get from South America Inside. Below you can see how much you can save:
Note: Language courses are excluded from this promotion. These discounts can not be combined with other promotions.
If you need assistance in putting together your personal experience abroad, then please contact us. Our experienced staff will help you to set up your tailor-made stay abroad.